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05 April 16

Henrietta Barnett girls lead the way in VEX IQ Challenge

Henrietta Barnett girls lead the way in VEX IQ Challenge
A team of talented students from a girls grammar school in London were the big winners in the UK National Finals of the 2016 VEX IQ Challenge.

'HBS Cyborgs', from Henrietta Barnett School, were joint tournament champions in the competition, held at the Big Bang Fair at the NEC Birmingham. Along with alliance partner 'Oreos' from Greig City Academy, they scored the highest number of points in the final round of matches, and won three other awards - Excellence, Programming Skills and Robot Skills. The all-female team of Jessica Ebner-Statt, Rishi Shah, Jodi Coffman and Elli Gaver have now qualified for the VEX IQ World Championships, to be held in Kentucky, US later this month.

They were not the only girls from the Hampstead academy to do well at the finals - 'HBS Flamix' also won the STEM Research Project Award. Another team from Henrietta Barnett, 'HBS Vexray', will join 'HBS Cyborgs' in the US through winning an earlier regional heat. The big winner, however, was STEM itself, and the fact that so many of the teams involved in the Finals were female. Several of the teams that competed had received support from Girls into Stem, an industry-backed initiative aimed at increasing the number of girls at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 actively involved with science, technology, engineering and maths, and encouraging girls to consider careers in the engineering sector.

The name of this year’s competition was ‘Bank Shot’, with teams challenged to design robots which can move balls off a ramp, place and shoot balls into scoring zones and park their robots on the ramp
at the end of the match.

These were the full list of awards presented at the UK National Final, which saw 40 teams from 25 schools take part:

  • Excellence Award - HBS Cyborgs, Henrietta Barnett School
  • Teamwork Champion Award - HBS Cyborgs, Henrietta Barnett School; Oreos, Greig City Academy
  • Teamwork Second Place Award - GCA Roboteers, Greig City Academy; Fortismere School
  • Programming Skills Champion Award - HBS Cyborgs, Henrietta Barnett School
  • Programming Skills Second Place Award - Something Simple, Greig City Academy
  • Robot Skills Champion Award - HBS Cyborgs, Henrietta Barnett School
  • Robot Skills Second Place Award - Fortismere School
  • Design Award - Bluebots Assemble, The Bluecoat School
  • Amaze Award - Finesse, Finham Park School
  • Energy Award - Team GTD, Gaelscoil Thomáis Dáibhís
  • Judges Award - MCA IQ 1, Manchester Communications Academy
  • STEM Research Project Award - HBS Flamix, Henrietta Barnett School
  • Think Award - Fortismere School
  • Volunteer of the Year - Joel and Luke Merryweather

As the UK distributor of the VEX IQ robotics platform, Rapid helped to co-ordinate the VEX IQ Challenge at a Regional and National level. In collaboration with VEX Robotics and its sponsorship partners National Grid and Northrop Grumman, members of our Education team demonstrated the VEX IQ system at the Big Bang Fair. They showed pupils, teachers and employers how the system can develop key skills in programming and engineering.

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